Only Jesus Makes us Fruitful

Sermon from CCM Ladybarn


This sermon was preached by Tom O’Toole at the Ladybarn site of Christ Church Manchester on Sunday 18th October 2020.


This message was part of the ‘SERIES NAME’ series, preached at Christ Church Manchester’s church in Withington in EARLY/MID/LATE YEAR. The full series included the following sermons:


This sermon was based on Colossians 1:1-14


1Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother,

2To the saints and faithful brothers in Christ at Colossae:

Grace to you and peace from God our Father.

Thanksgiving and Prayer

3 We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, 4since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, 5because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel, 6which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and increasing—as it also does among you, since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth, 7just as you learned it from Epaphras our beloved fellow servant. He is a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf 8and has made known to us your love in the Spirit.

9And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy; 12giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. 13He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.


What is Fruitfulness?

  • Fruitfulness is a state of being extremely productive or prolific.
  • Fruitfulness – The Christian Life is supposed to be fruitful. You don’t get apples from an orange tree – If God is at work on the inside it will be shown with fruit on the outsidePromise – “Whoever abides in me, and I in him – he it is that bears much fruit.”

Gospel Fruit in the World

  • The Gospel is the proclamation of Jesus and what he is done. It is this that is bearing fruit in Colossea and Paul is thanking God for it.
  • What the Gospel has done in Colossae it is doing everywhere. It has always and will always increase in scale throughout the world.
  • One thing I have noticed is that there is a connection between my engagement with this bigger picture and my personal fruitfulness. Global stories. Global prayers. Outward focus is good for the soul. 

Gospel Fruit in Your Life

  • What Paul is praying here for the Colossians is a vivid description of the fruitful Christian life.
  • Filled with the knowledge of his will. – The question ‘What does God want’ preoccupying your thoughts.
  • Walk In a Manner Worthy of the Lord. Lifestyle – choices we make day by day.
  • Bearing Fruit In Every Work – Good works have a bad rap – But good works are essential. We should all be doing good works. We can be tempted to look at the personal fruit as all internal – Not so. A lot of it is worked out in how we serve others with good works.
  • Increasing In the Knowledge of God – Not just his will but who he is. How are your learning about God? You may not be into an academic style of learning {Not a ‘Theology type’} So what can you do? – Digging into scripture, reading … maybe podcasts, videos.
  • Being Strengthened With All Power – It’s a prayer – not a beat up, but a picture of the work of God … we do everything by his strength. His power. It’s the same power that rose Jesus from the dead. I can’t do it. He can.
  • For all endurance and patience with joy – Strength doesn’t always mean good times. Endurance in hard times. Patience with joy. (Have you ever seen someone going through a real tough time – but always radiating joy) – A learning that the source of joy isn’t the circumstance of the moment but the truth of eternity.
  • Giving Thanks to the Father – Thanksgiving prayer is transformative. Count your blessings – all grounded in what God has done for us.


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